First ever British car journey marked with plaque in Micheldever

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A plaque has been unveiled to mark the first recorded car journey in the UK.

In 1895, Evelyn Ellis drove the first documented motor car journey departing from village Micheldever Station, near Winchester, Hampshire.

Installed by the National Transport Trust, the plaque at Micheldever railway station was unveiled observed by dozens of vintage car enthusiasts on Saturday.

The charity said the plaque would help mark the historic feat.

The brand-new 4hp Panhard and Levassor vehicle had been shipped from Paris to Southampton, and moved to Micheldever.

Evelyn Ellis
Evelyn Ellis in a vehicle made by Panhard and Levassor at an exhibition in Kent

According to the National Transport Trust, Ellis was constantly on alert for the police as he was breaking the existing speed limit of 2mph in town and 4mph in the countryside.

It is believed the village was chosen because it was on the main Southampton to London road.

Ellis was expecting difficulties with police and it is thought he was hoping to be arrested so he could make a test case against the legal speed limits.

The roughly 45 mile journey to the village of Datchet, in Berkshire, took eight hours and 14 minutes.

The car still exists in the Science Museum collection.

Vice-president of the National Transport Trust Lord Montagu of Beaulieu said: “It’s very significant, and its one of those funny things that a quite sleepy little village in Hampshire just happened to be the first place where the first recorded car journey took place.

“I think it’s really good there is a now plaque to tell people that because looking around you wouldn’t normally know…

“It’s something that is Micheldever’s claim to fame but only recently it has come to prominence.”

Vintage car
Enthusiasts marked the occasion by turning up in vintage cars

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